This milestone decision will facilitate goods transport and transit, putting India and her neighbours at the centre of efforts to boost overland trade and regional integration across South Asia and beyond.
In the light of the recent Motor Vehicles Agreement to improve cross-border transport between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, the government’s decision on TIR will fast-track the region’s potential to become a productive trade hub.
TIR will also be critical in helping India implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force last month.
IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, commented, “This landmark decision puts India firmly on the road to adopting harmonised global transport standards. India will soon reap the benefits of more efficient and faster freight transit, boosting trade and helping businesses across the country prosper.”
The streamlined international system for the movement of goods by road and other modes will, in particular, enhance India’s International “North-South” Transport Corridor, a key trade route between Central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the north, and southern ports in India and beyond, such as Chabahar in Iran.
Accession to TIR will secure customs duties and taxes and provide a robust guarantee mechanism, reducing trade transaction costs, facilitating higher growth of intra-regional and inter-regional trade. The TIR system requires minimal manpower and facilities – other than that for checks on seals and the inspection of load compartments or containers, reducing transit delays and congestion at border crossings. This saves significantly on transport costs, leading to increased competitiveness and growth. TIR’s “single transit document” also significantly reduces the risk of presenting inaccurate information and only approved transporters and vehicles are allowed to operate.